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Junior Research Fellow

United Nations University
Location: Bonn, Germany
Last Date: September 6, 2011
Email: (Reference:

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Junior Research Fellow (Vulnerability and Adaptation
Researcher) P2
Organizational Unit : United Nations University-Institute for Environment and Human
Security (UNU-EHS)
Reference Number : 2011/UNU/EHS/FTA/VAR(WP)/34
Applications to : By Email:
Closing Date : 6 September 2011
United Nations University Objectives:
The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars, engaged in research,
postgraduate teaching and capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the
purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute,
through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the
concern of the United Nations and its Member States. For more information please visit
United Nations University-Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS):
During the past few years, UNU-EHS has developed into a leading international vulnerability research
institute. It has been conceived and created to assess the vulnerability and coping capacity of societies
facing natural and human-induced hazards in a changing environment. The Institute spearheads research,
capacity building and policy-relevant advisory activities relating to the broad interdisciplinary field of
'risk and vulnerability'. The overall goal of its research is to raise public and political awareness and to
assist Member States to implement the principles of “living with nature, living with risks” within the
context of sustainable development. Next to environmentally-induced migration, vulnerability
assessment, with particular emphasis on the social and environmental components, risk management and
adaptation strategies to climate change and hazard events are the priority research areas of the
institute. UNU-EHS has been engaged in PhD-level education since 2004. UNU is to become a degreeawarding
postgraduate university. Hence, Master’s and PhD programmes, to be developed in close
cooperation worldwide with leading universities will be priority activities in the years to come.
For complete information about the organization, please visit the following websites:,,,,
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WISDOM Project:
WISDOM is a German-Vietnamese initiative comprising eighteen research institutions based in Germany
and Vietnam and coordinated in Germany by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and in Vietnam by the
Southern Institute of Water Resources Research (SIWRR). WISDOM aims to support the development of
IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) strategies in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, through the
development of an Information System. UNU-EHS is involved in two research thematic areas of WISDOM:
vulnerability assessment to water-related hazards and studies on water quality monitoring and
management. Additionally, UNU-EHS coordinates the PhD Programme of the project.
For detailed information please visit:
Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS / Vice-Rector in Europe and the supervision for the Head
of the Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management and Adaptive Planning Section the successful
candidate shall be entrusted with the following tasks:
· Coordinate the vulnerability and adaptation related assessments undertaken by UNU-EHS in the
Mekong Delta project WISDOM;
· Provide technical and scientific advice in cooperation with the Head of Section to two PhD students
and various MSc students working on vulnerability assessment and adaptation to water related
hazards within the project;
· Contribute to the identification, assessment and evaluation of vulnerability patterns and trends with
regard to floods and additional water related stressors;
· Develop further research activities within the context of vulnerability and adaptation to water
related hazards in the Mekong Delta;
· Represent UNU-EHS at major conferences addressing the issue of vulnerability and adaptation;
· Support the development of publications dealing with key findings of the research undertaken by
UNU-EHS in vulnerability and adaptation in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters;
· Contribute to the coordination of the WISDOM PhD programme and in particular the organisation of
the PhD seminars;
· Develop project proposals on vulnerability and adaptation processes in Delta Regions and urban
environments to be submitted to major donors;
· Contribute to teaching modules in the upcoming joint MSc programme of UNU-EHS and tutor students
in this programme;
· Provide scientific, technical and logistical support regarding the wider activities of the Vulnerability
Assessment, Risk Management and Adaptive Planning Section of UNU-EHS.
Required Qualifications and Competencies:
 Masters degree in related field, preferably Geography, Anthropology or Spatial Planning;
 At least three years of professional experience in research and academia, some of which preferably
in Vietnam or Southeast Asia;
 Strong background in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies;
 Experience in the development of indicator and criteria for the assessment of vulnerability and
adaptation, preferably also linked to household surveys;
 Experience in working with GIS and SPSS;
 Strong expertise in theoretical and conceptual approaches of vulnerability and resilience;
 Experience in urban vulnerability issues;
 Experience with the coordination of research activities;
 Good links and scientific networks with key research institutions in Vietnam;
 Strong publication background in the areas related to UNU-EHS’ interest;
 Good didactic skills;
 Good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural,
multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
 Strong command of oral and written English; German or additional UN working languages are
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Desirable Experience and Competences:
 Experience in supervising PhD and MSc students;
 Experience in organizing seminars, workshops, conferences;
 Strong interpersonal skills;
 Excellent leadership and team spirit.
We offer competitive net salary (tax-exempted) at P-2 level commensurate to level of experience and
allowances including post adjustment. Post adjustment is subject to change.
The post carries the standard set of United Nations benefits and entitlements for international positions
in the UN Common Systems, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension fund, the
possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant, removal expenses and
home leave.For more information please visit:
Duration of contract:
This is a full time fixed-term appointment. The period of initial appointment would be 2 years with the
possibility of renewal on the basis of satisfactory performance and availability of project funds. The
mandatory age of retirement for new United Nations staff is 62 years.
This is an internationally recruited post. Suitably qualified woman candidates and applicants from
developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.
Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of
the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The
Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.
The United Nations University is a non-smoking environment.
Starting date:
As soon as possible
Application Procedure:
Interested applicants should submit their application preferably by email submitting the following
(a) A letter of application setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements
of the position;
(b) A curriculum-vitae with a completed and signed UNU Personal History Form downloadable from
the United Nations University website
Please avoid using similar forms provided by other UN organizations.
(c) A list of publications and recent writing sample, and
(d) Full contact information of three references.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted; unsuccessful applications can neither be acknowledged
nor returned.


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